Mark Conrad 06 March 2023

Councils should become primary provider of childcare, survey finds

Councils should become primary provider of childcare, survey finds image
Image: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock.com.

Councils should become the primary provider of state-subsidised childcare designed to get parents back to work and boost productivity, a new survey has found.

A report by the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) think-tank published today concluded the Government should redefine childcare as infrastructure in the Budget so ministers can borrow to invest in getting parents back to work.

CPP researchers suggested the estimated lost economic output of the current childcare system was more than £27bn - equivalent to 1% of gross domestic product.

The report suggested the UK lost at least £9.4bn in additional earnings per year due to a lack of suitable childcare preventing people from working the hours they would like.

CPP’s report included a survey of 2,545 mothers with at least one child aged under ten.

More than half (54%) said they had struggled to find suitable childcare while more than one in four (27%) said they would work more hours if they could.

The CPP study read: ‘The majority of mums surveyed (59%) think councils should be the primary providers of childcare, although they only currently make up 5% of group-based childcare providers, suggesting an increase in this type of provision should be explored further.’

Head of research and analysis at CPP, Rosie Fodgen, warned: ‘The high cost of childcare is holding back our economy.

'Parents want to work more, but to do so they need more wraparound care and lower hourly costs without compromising on quality.

'Without it, many are left with no option but to forgo promotion, reduce their hours or stop work entirely.’

This article was originally published by The MJ (£).

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